Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park
Adventure abounds at Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park. Whether it's taking a tour of the historic underground mine, visiting the high energy physics, boating on Lake Vermilion, or hiking through acres of old growth pine, there are new discoveries around every corner. The addition of nearly 3000 acres and five miles of Lake Vermilion shoreline in 2010 will no doubt add new opportunities to experience everything that northern Minnesota has to offer.
Tell me more about this park's wildlife, history, geology and landscape.
Underground Mine Tours Open May 23rd, 2015
Underground Mine Tours will NOT be affected by construction work for the new campgrounds. The historic entrance will be open during regular tour times. Please use and follow the historic Soudan Underground Mine Tour signs along Hwy. 169 and the following street address if using GPS. 1302 McKinley Park Road Soudan, MN 55782. For further information on tours please refer to the park notes section.
Vermilion Park Drive on the East side of the park is now closed weekdays to accommodate campground construction. The road will open at 5 p.m. each Friday and remain open through the weekend for public access into the Armstrong Bay day use area. Lake access to the day use area by boat remains unrestricted. Note this is a separate access from the historic underground mine tours.
Some trails will also be closed due to construction. Refer to the park map or call the park office for more information.
Safety Precautions: You are likely to encounter construction traffic in the park while it is under development. Please drive carefully around construction sites and vehicles, and follow all construction closures and detour signs.
Watch a video of the groundbreaking ceremony!
Be fascinated. Check out the naturalist programs and other activities scheduled at the park.
Mine Tour Times and Dates:Celebrating 50 Years of Underground Mine Tours!
Historic Underground Mine Tour: Public tours begin for the season on Saturday, May 23, 2015.
High Energy Physics Lab Tour: Public tours begin for the season on Saturday, May 23, 2015.
Tour Rates (cost per tour): Adults (ages 13+) are $12, youth (ages 5-12) are $7, and there is no charge for children under 5 (you must still ask for a ticket).
Group tours are available year-round. (Group tours include Scouts, youth groups, college groups, and other organized groups.) To make group reservations, please call the park office.
Find out more about Minnesota's first iron ore mine and additional tour opportunities.
Vehicle permits are required at Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park except for the main parking lot of the visitor center at the mine. Vehicle permits are available for purchase at the gift shop in the visitor center.
Self-Guided Audio Surface Tour:
Hear about the inner workings of the Soudan facilities and how what happened on top of the surface influenced everything that happened below. Be sure to grab a copy of the tour brochure before you head out. Download the audio files and brochure.
Please note: these virtual tours were developed before Lake Vermilion State Park and Soudan Underground Mine State Park were combined to become one big park.
White Nose Bat Syndrome:
A fungus dangerous to bats has been confirmed at the park. This fungus is known to cause white-nose syndrome (WNS), a disease that is harmful and mostly fatal to hibernating bats, and has decimated bat populations in the eastern portions of the United States and Canada. The syndrome is transmitted primarily from bat to bat and is not known to pose a threat to humans, pets, livestock or other wildlife.
Public tours of the mine and physics lab are continuing. To help keep the fungus from spreading, visitors are required to walk across special mats designed to remove spores from footwear. Visitors also are advised not to visit other caves or mines with any clothing, footwear or gear they have used in areas where WNS or the associated fungus is present, because washing alone cannot sufficiently disinfect clothing.
Learn more about white-nose syndrome and what you can do to help slow its spread.
Get the park's Call of the Wildflowers cache coordinates. There's also a multi-stage geocache for truly adventurous park visitors you'll find the starting point at N47 49.243 W 092 14.192.
State Forest Campground:
The park manages one DNR state forest campground - Hinsdale Island - located in Kabetogama State Forest. Camping is first-come, first-served. Hinsdale Island is a remote and rustic campsite area accessible by water only. For more information, contact the park office.
Don't move firewood!
Burning non-local firewood can spread invasive species, and it's against Minnesota state law. Learn more. Always buy your firewood at the park, or from an approved local vendor. Find firewood vendors for the park.
Purchase a Minnesota State Parks Gift Card.
Best time to contact the park:
May - September: Daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
October - April: Weekdays, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Summer Mine Entrance: 1302 McKinley Park Road
Winter Mine Entrance: 1379 Stuntz Bay Road, Soudan, 55782
Mailing address: P.O. Box 335, 1379 Stuntz Bay Road, Soudan, MN 55782
Take U.S. Highway 169 toward Ely and follow the signs. Soudan is located two miles east of Tower, MN.